Nitro & Methanol = Gearhead Heaven!
The promoter of the Trophy Cup, David Pusateri is a good friend. We have coffee every morning with a bunch of other knuckleheads (Uh. . .I mean Gearheads) in Willow Glen. Beyond fixing the world’s problems on a daily basis, we talk racing.
Many years ago when my two sons, brother-in-law and I first started attending the Trophy Cup in Tulare, David suggested to spend the daytime down at Auto Club Famoso Dragstrip in Bakersfield to watch the Nitro Funny Cars. This works perfectly because the Nostalgia Drags are held during the day and the Trophy Cup Sprint Car Races are at night. Works for me!
So Here’s the David Pusateri GearHead Tour:
8:00am: Breakfast at Apple Annie’s Coffee Shop
First stop is head to Apple Annie’s for a great country breakfast. Apple Annie’s is located at 1165 N. Blackstone Street right across Hwy 99 from the light at Prosperity Avenue. The restaurant is in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn Tulare. Gotta start the day with an Apple Annie’s breakfast!
9:00am: Head to the Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Drag Strip
Everybody love Funny Cars! The Hot Rod Reunion is an incredible event at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield. The Nostalgia Drag series is the Coolest and feature Nitro Funny Cars, Top Fuel Cars and the A-Gas and B-Gas Doorslamers. The pits go one for almost a mile and feature race cars, show cars, hot rods, swap meet vendors, T-shirt vendors, great food and cold beer. It’s like being at huge car show, but with Nitro Funny Cars hitting 245 mph in the 1/4 mile. The tickets run $25 apiece and all tickets are pit passes, so you have free run of the whole race complex. Auto Club Famoso Raceway Drag Strip is approximately 50 minutes down Highway 99 from Tulare. Take the exit for Hwy 46 Famoso Road east and the track is 4 miles down the road. Bring ear plugs as the nitro cars are so loud they shake the ground when they hit the loud pedal!
The Sound of Nitro Funny Cars!
3:00pm: – Time to head back to Thunderbowl Raceway
At about 3:00 we head back to the Trophy Cup. We park our car and then walk to Vejar’s Mexican Restaurant for a good meal.
After a day walking around the drags, we’re getting kind of hungry. So after we park our car, we walk over to Vejars Mexican Restaurant & Cantina for a hearty meal. Vejar’s Mexican Restaurant is local Tulare landmark. The recipes haven’t changed in over 45 years, which means much of the community has been raised on Vejar’s rice and beans! That’s something to be proud of.
5:00pm – Head to Our Seats to Watch the Trophy Cup
With a full stomach we walk back to Thunderbowl Raceway and head up to our seats to watch an night of awesome Dirt Track Racing. In all fairness to the drags, the last laps of the Sprint Car Main Event at the Trophy Cup give you a feeling you just can’t buy!
Gearhead Heaven: Drag Racing and Sprint Car Racing in One Day!
At the end of the night when you get back to your hotel for the night, you think about 250 mph Nitro Funny Cars during the day and then an entire night of incredible Sprint Car Racing. . .you just think WOW! Pretty cool being a Gearhead.
George's love of circle track racing led him to develop:
George drove a Late Model Stock Car for many years. Wasn't any good. Spent way too much money, but had a lot of fun!